Person of interest in murder case found to be selling meth

WHEN police intercepted Ian Robert Armstrong's phone calls, it wasn't drug deals they were expecting to hear about.

The 29-year-old was being monitored in April last year as a person of interest in an investigation into the disappearance of Robert Martinez and Chantal Barnett.

While police are yet to discover the location of the missing pair since they were last seen in February last year, they discovered Armstrong had been trafficking methylamphetamine and cannabis.

Armstrong pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Supreme Court on Thursday to drug trafficking.

Crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips said the father-of-five made 68 deals during the period he was monitored in April.

Mr Phillips said 47 of those deals were for methylamphetamine.

He said some of the deals reached into thousands of dollars.

Armstrong made up to seven deals a day and appeared to have 18 clients, Mr Phillips said.

The barrister representing Armstrong, Ross Lo Monaco, said Armstrong made little money as he was selling the drugs to support his own drug habit.

Mr Lo Monaco said Armstrong, who has been in and out of jail, had a "fairly significant criminal history".

Armstrong's trafficking was described as at the "lower end of the scale" by Justice Duncan McMeekin.

But Justice McMeekin said Armstrong needed to stay out of jail for the sake of his children, four of whom are under the age of 13.

"It should be your job to look after (your children), not the community's," he said.

Justice McMeekin took into account the time Armstrong had served in custody waiting for the sentence, in setting Armstrong's parole release date for January 11 next year.

Topics:  chantal barnett meth murder robert martinez

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